Topic: Best adjustable seat setup for tall drivers?

Hi all! I'm getting started with prepping a 2002 New Beetle and doing track days, and targeting Road Atlanta in December. I'm about to get my cage done, and at the same time am looking for a seat setup that can accommodate a 6'7" driver as well as shorter drivers (me!) and potentially drivers of various sizes, so I'm looking at adjustable setups.

I'm currently eyeballing the Corbeau FX1 Pro since it has adjustable sliders and car-specific mounts that look like they would drop into the beetle, but have been looking a bit at other setups as well (especially if they have sliders as part of the solution). It looks, though, like most setups that allow for a slider are bottom-mount and in general if it's bottom mounted then it's a bit higher than side mounted seats?

Do any of you have tall drivers and have seat setups that you like? Installation instructions from seat manufacturers are also scant so that also adds uncertainty, but I can certainly fabricate items if need-be.

Re: Best adjustable seat setup for tall drivers?

MANY experienced builders in this forum will suggest you mount the seat before constructing the cage; there are several threads mentioning this.

Just a reminder for those who look at this thread in the future, in case you already knew that and had considered it.

Re: Best adjustable seat setup for tall drivers?

We use the FX1 Pro in two of our cars and do like it.  We do not use their mounts as nothing "drops in" to a Dustbuster minivan or 1947 Plymouth.

Large variances in in torso, leg and arm length, cannot always be solved by just using sliders. If the car has enough height (yours should) most of these can be adjusted for using a significant ramp under the slider...off the shelf is unlikely to do that.  For example, using an OEM slider from things like a Jeep Cherokee, Volvo 240, even a passenger side 4th gen Camaro, gives you about 7" of fore/aft movement.  Now put that on a ramp that changes the height by about 3" over that travel often allows a range of drivers from 5'3" to 6'4" comfortably...depending on the whole torso, arm, leg length thing.  If your team spans that size 5'3" the 6'7", the tall just gets to be mildly uncomfortable.

As mentioned, if possible, get the seat at least temp mounted before finalizing cage design and install.  If nothing else, you need to find the height for the harness bar.

4 (edited by chaase 2021-06-04 05:55 AM)

Re: Best adjustable seat setup for tall drivers?

We use the Corbeau Forza seat with the universal tracks. It is not as much the seat as what the car/cage allow. Figure out the furthest back that you need the seat with the seat tracks all the way back and put the cage directly behind that position. Sometimes it helps to angle the seat tracks down as it slides back. it gives allows for more head room.

1992 Saturn SL2 (retired) - Elmo's Revenge -  Class B winner, Heroic Fix winner x2
1969 Rover P6B 3500S(sold) - Super G-Rover - I.O.E Winner, Class C Winner
1996 Saturn SW2 - Elmo's Revenge (reborn!), Saturn SL1  Dazzleshipm Class C winner
1974 AMC Javelin - Oscar's Trash heap - IOE,”Organizer's Choice" and "I got Screwed" award winner

Re: Best adjustable seat setup for tall drivers?

Did you already buy the car? I ask because your helmet has to be 2" form the cage. That might require cutting the floor. As mention mount the seat BEFORE you start on the cage. WE got lucky, the entire team is around 6'1". You might need it to go up and down as well. If there is a lot of difference in height I'm not sure you will find any seat that will work for everybody, somebody is going to be uncomfortable.

"get up and get your grandma outta here"

Re: Best adjustable seat setup for tall drivers?

shawn wrote:

Hi all! I'm getting started with prepping a 2002 New Beetle and doing track days, and targeting Road Atlanta in December.

Stan In Bham is the man. He is running New Beetles. Nice guy. You should look him up.

--bb

Re: Best adjustable seat setup for tall drivers?

Mr.Yuck wrote:

Did you already buy the car? I ask because your helmet has to be 2" form the cage. That might require cutting the floor. As mention mount the seat BEFORE you start on the cage. WE got lucky, the entire team is around 6'1". You might need it to go up and down as well. If there is a lot of difference in height I'm not sure you will find any seat that will work for everybody, somebody is going to be uncomfortable.

The Beetle has a lot of headroom from what I remember.

1992 Saturn SL2 (retired) - Elmo's Revenge -  Class B winner, Heroic Fix winner x2
1969 Rover P6B 3500S(sold) - Super G-Rover - I.O.E Winner, Class C Winner
1996 Saturn SW2 - Elmo's Revenge (reborn!), Saturn SL1  Dazzleshipm Class C winner
1974 AMC Javelin - Oscar's Trash heap - IOE,”Organizer's Choice" and "I got Screwed" award winner

Re: Best adjustable seat setup for tall drivers?

Just going to add a different slider approach. I ordered a corbeau slider with my first seat from them and hated it. It was single side locking and didn't actually fit the car. We custom made something that was a pain to adjust but was at least double side locking. What we have now in the saab and the E36 (if that ever makes progress) is the OEM electric rails out of the a saab 9-5. I took the driver and passenger sides, combined them to use two motors instead of one, and kept the rod the links the two rails.

Tthe logic for this was that the electric sliders make adjusting easier in general. It also helps get the lap belts tighter. Adjust to almost far enough forward, pull on lap belts, scoot the seat forward to really suck them down and get into final position. The rails themselves are all worm gear, so they can't be back-driven, there's no risk of them moving and loosening belts in the car. And they're already crash tested and proven from the manufacturer.


Doesn't work in every car if you already have headroom issues, though the 9-5 rails are fairly low profile once you strip off the extra bits that do seat angle adjusting and recline. But it worked for us and I don't think I can go back to manual sliders. And yes tech has seen and signed off on this for years now. First race we pointed out that we even kept the OEM memory module for the seat so you could easily move it to the full back position without smashing into the harness bar and flexing the seat.

20+ Time Loser FutilityMotorsport
Turbo Dodge Powered E36 Build
2008 Saab 9-5Aero Wagon
Retired - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby 2011-2015 "Lifetime Award for Lack of Achievement" IOE, 3X I got screwed, Organizer's Choice

Re: Best adjustable seat setup for tall drivers?

You should be fine with the Corbeau FX1 Pro.
At 6'5" I have a 6'7" torso and 6'3" legs, so head and shoulder room can be challenging.
We had to modify our seat when we went with a full containment units. The halo portion
wouldn't allow my shoulders to fit. We have the seat on some factory sliders (the Corbeau's suck and are dangerous)
at about 10° incline. I drive one stop from all the way back, and most of my teammates are all the way forward.
They range from 5'6" to 5'11". We're all making some compromise in simplicity.
Anyway, having the seat slide back more than I need makes ingress/egress easier.

Mounting the sub-belt is a challenge due to the seat movement, but we found a position that allows
all of us to fit safely.

Mr.Yuck wrote:

...I ask because your helmet has to be 2" form the cage...

That is inaccurate.
The rule is:
Rule 3.E.1: ...On all sides, all drivers’ helmeted heads must be at least two inches inside the area enclosed by the cage.
That means that the helmet has to be 2" inside of the outside of the cage. Using 1.75" tubing? You'll need .25" clearance from the cage.

One other thing to note, door bars make it tough for tall drivers to enter and exit. I build my cars with NASCAR door bars for the protection.
However, if I were to decide to use an X-brace door bar instead, I'd move the intersection forward of center from the opening to allow easier ingress/egress.

Capt. Delinquent Racing
RUST-TITE XR4Ti - '21 ARSE-FREEZE-APALOOZA  I Got Screwed
The One & Only Taurus V8 SHO #31(now moved on to another OG Delinquent)
'17 Vodden the Hell - (No) Hope for the Future Award, '08 AMP Survivor, '08 ARSE-FREEZE-APALOOZA Mega-Cheater

Re: Best adjustable seat setup for tall drivers?

DelinquentRacer wrote:

You should be fine with the Corbeau FX1 Pro.
At 6'5" I have a 6'7" torso and 6'3" legs, so head and shoulder room can be challenging.
We had to modify our seat when we went with a full containment units. The halo portion
wouldn't allow my shoulders to fit. We have the seat on some factory sliders (the Corbeau's suck and are dangerous)
at about 10° incline. I drive one stop from all the way back, and most of my teammates are all the way forward.
They range from 5'6" to 5'11". We're all making some compromise in simplicity.
Anyway, having the seat slide back more than I need makes ingress/egress easier.

Mounting the sub-belt is a challenge due to the seat movement, but we found a position that allows
all of us to fit safely.

Mr.Yuck wrote:

...I ask because your helmet has to be 2" form the cage...

That is inaccurate.
The rule is:
Rule 3.E.1: ...On all sides, all drivers’ helmeted heads must be at least two inches inside the area enclosed by the cage.
That means that the helmet has to be 2" inside of the outside of the cage. Using 1.75" tubing? You'll need .25" clearance from the cage.

One other thing to note, door bars make it tough for tall drivers to enter and exit. I build my cars with NASCAR door bars for the protection.
However, if I were to decide to use an X-brace door bar instead, I'd move the intersection forward of center from the opening to allow easier ingress/egress.

? no your melon has to be 2" from the cage, not 1/4"  you are wrong.

"get up and get your grandma outta here"

Re: Best adjustable seat setup for tall drivers?

I think what's being discussed here is semantics.  The rough rule of thumb is if they lay a broomstick across the top of the cage, the top of your helmet needs to be at least 2" below that broomstick.  From a theoretical standpoint with 1.75 tube, yes the top of your helmet could end up 1/4" lower than an imaginary line running underneath the tubing but you really don't want your head to be 1/4" away from the tubes.  And from a practical standpoint you really want to further away from the cage than those 2".  The body stretches a ridiculous amount in addition to the stretch built into your belts.  Which reminds me, if you do have a crash of significance reweb or throw away your harness.  They only stretch once.

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita"  1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless) 2002 Jaguar x-type (Winner C-Class 2021 Sears Pointless)
Gone bye-bye
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)  1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites)

Re: Best adjustable seat setup for tall drivers?

Mr.Yuck wrote:

? no your melon has to be 2" from the cage, not 1/4"  you are wrong.

DelinquentRacer and cheseroo have it right. The phrase "two inches inside the area enclosed by the cage" in the rules is... awkward, both in terms of the word "area" for what should probably be "volume" and the question of whether "enclosed" refers to the interior or exterior boundary of the cage. Figure 4 of the "How-To-Not-Fail" guide makes it clear, however, that it is the exterior boundary of the cage that matters for clearance purposes.

As cheseroo notes, however, a greater distance is an excellent idea.

1982 MG Metro 1300: IOE 2015 Pacific Northworst GP, Longest Distance 2010 Cd'L Box Wine Country Classic
1980 KV Mini 1: Worst of Show and Fright Pig Supremo 2009 Concours d'Lemons
1978 H Special: Second-Round Elimination 2010 Lemons Pinewood Derby at Sears Pointless
1967 SAAB 96: IOE 2012 Pacific Northworst GP, Organizer's Choice 2022 Hell on Wheels California Rally

Re: Best adjustable seat setup for tall drivers?

Thanks all for the advice so far; I'm definitely going to get the seat done first before the cage now (cage builder also confirmed that). It does look like from a bit of research I've done between now and then is that the Planted brand seat brackets are what everyone (Sparco, Corbeau, etc) likely resells for application-specific brackets. They do look like they'll be as low as anything that I can put into the beetle without cutting something away.

chaase wrote:

The Beetle has a lot of headroom from what I remember.

+1, but one unfortunate aspect is that I think a lot of the headroom comes from the curved roof, whereas the cage isn't going to be able to follow that contour. I think that will diminish our actual vs. apparent headroom.

billy bee wrote:

Stan In Bham is the man. He is running New Beetles. Nice guy. You should look him up.

For sure! I saw that he was racing New Beetles from the recent wrapup and reached out, he's super helpful!

(I apparently must post two posts to post links so I'll make a second post shortly)

Re: Best adjustable seat setup for tall drivers?

DelinquentRacer wrote:

We have the seat on some factory sliders (the Corbeau's suck and are dangerous)

TheEngineer wrote:

I ordered a corbeau slider with my first seat from them and hated it. It was single side locking and didn't actually fit the car.

Whelp, sounds unanimous that the Corbeau slider was/isn't great? Their blog states that it's double-locking now since 2018 so fingers crossed that it's better? https://corbeau.com/blog/sliders/

It looks awfully similar to the Sparco, so I suspect like the plate they might be reselling from a vendor like Planted: https://www.sparcousa.com/product/track-set-slider

I also just watched a video from a Braum being crash tested: https://d280ol7wmky77y.cloudfront.net/w … falcon.mp4

... That side impact didn't look comfortable, and I imagine that side impacts are pretty likely in Lemons? I'm guessing if I spin then someone is likely to come along and "help" me by t-boning me. big_smile I debate if I'd like a containment seat like the Kirkey 45, it looks pretty adjustable too...

Re: Best adjustable seat setup for tall drivers?

shawn wrote:

...I think a lot of the headroom comes from the curved roof, whereas the cage isn't going to be able to follow that contour. I think that will diminish our actual vs. apparent headroom.

You may want to consider something like the option on the left, except entirely inside the roof and closely following its shape:

https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/aug2i9qnybo5gnrklbnh.jpg

Lifted from an earlier discussion:

https://forums.24hoursoflemons.com/view … p?id=34599

1982 MG Metro 1300: IOE 2015 Pacific Northworst GP, Longest Distance 2010 Cd'L Box Wine Country Classic
1980 KV Mini 1: Worst of Show and Fright Pig Supremo 2009 Concours d'Lemons
1978 H Special: Second-Round Elimination 2010 Lemons Pinewood Derby at Sears Pointless
1967 SAAB 96: IOE 2012 Pacific Northworst GP, Organizer's Choice 2022 Hell on Wheels California Rally

Re: Best adjustable seat setup for tall drivers?

btw, mharrell, I thank you for your support [I didn't think anyone read my previous post


I again contend the rule needs to be rewritten to be clearer in the first instance [though I think having more clearance is a good idea].

Proposed change:
" ... On all sides, all drivers’ helmeted heads must be at least two inches inside the volume defined by the cage. Don't know what this means? [in the spirit of the 'voice' of the rules as written] Stretch a bedsheet over the frame. Keep at least two inches away from the sheet. ..."

... or something like that ... like adding "exterior dimensions of" before the words "the cage"

"//

Again, for ease of reference:

Rule 3.E.1:
" ... On all sides, all drivers’ helmeted heads must be at least two inches inside the area enclosed by the cage.  ..."

And, in:
How To Not Fail Lemons Tech Inspection
, the illustration:

"ROLL CAGE FIGURE 4, HELMET CLEARANCE" on page 6 shows what the rule purports to describe.
//

As written, the rule is nonsensical, because in this context,
1. "area" is simply the wrong word for a 3-dimensional "thing", and
2. "enclosed by" has given several  (including me, until I saw the illustration and asked questions previously) the impression that the cage surrounds the 'permissible space', and that the helmet needed to be 2" from the _cage_ also, so you didn't bump your helmet on the cage.

And the question continues to be raised, despite the illustration.

So if someone is just going to read the articles, and _not_ look at the pictures, why do they keep them behind the counter? Oh, sorry, wrong publication...

Because:
Lemons Tech: 3,460 _topics_
Search "cage": 9,280 posts"

Re: Best adjustable seat setup for tall drivers?

shawn wrote:
DelinquentRacer wrote:

We have the seat on some factory sliders (the Corbeau's suck and are dangerous)

TheEngineer wrote:

I ordered a corbeau slider with my first seat from them and hated it. It was single side locking and didn't actually fit the car.

Whelp, sounds unanimous that the Corbeau slider was/isn't great? Their blog states that it's double-locking now since 2018 so fingers crossed that it's better? https://corbeau.com/blog/sliders/

It looks awfully similar to the Sparco, so I suspect like the plate they might be reselling from a vendor like Planted: https://www.sparcousa.com/product/track-set-slider

I also just watched a video from a Braum being crash tested: https://d280ol7wmky77y.cloudfront.net/w … falcon.mp4

... That side impact didn't look comfortable, and I imagine that side impacts are pretty likely in Lemons? I'm guessing if I spin then someone is likely to come along and "help" me by t-boning me. big_smile I debate if I'd like a containment seat like the Kirkey 45, it looks pretty adjustable too...

Corbeau makes a double locking slider. it is much better than the single locking that many people buy.

1992 Saturn SL2 (retired) - Elmo's Revenge -  Class B winner, Heroic Fix winner x2
1969 Rover P6B 3500S(sold) - Super G-Rover - I.O.E Winner, Class C Winner
1996 Saturn SW2 - Elmo's Revenge (reborn!), Saturn SL1  Dazzleshipm Class C winner
1974 AMC Javelin - Oscar's Trash heap - IOE,”Organizer's Choice" and "I got Screwed" award winner

Re: Best adjustable seat setup for tall drivers?

I've become more of a fan of OEM Volvo 240 series sliders than the ones from seat manufacturers.  The ones I've gotten from Sparco in particular have been pretty sloppy/floppy.  The Volvo ones are double locking and can be found in DIY junkyards or Craigslist.  I am also a fan of mounting onto electric sliders when I can but they often have fore/aft tilt mechanisms that end up causing the seat to be too high.

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita"  1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless) 2002 Jaguar x-type (Winner C-Class 2021 Sears Pointless)
Gone bye-bye
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)  1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites)

Re: Best adjustable seat setup for tall drivers?

I’m 6’5”. I used a seat slider out of a 5th generation mustang 2005-2012(?). Mustang has a low roof so Ford gave it a compact slider, but it still has a manual ratcheting vertical adjustment. Works slick as snot. I’ve got plenty of room in my E28 and with the bubbly shape of a Beetle, I bet you’d be fine. That’s assuming that whoever builds the cage keeps it tight to the roof. Have fun.

Tri-Lamb Motorsports ‘87 528e

Re: Best adjustable seat setup for tall drivers?

From the how-not-to-fail-tech guide:

Tube bends just create more places to fail, so don’t use  any  more  than  necessary;  don’t  make  them any  sharper  than  necessary;  and  never  create  a reverse bend that would let a tube bow out or fold under stress.

Is following the contour of the roof an acceptable reason to put more bends in? I'd imagine that in a rollover the arch would be much stronger, but in forward/rear compression the cage could bow as stated in the concern in the guide.

cheseroo wrote:

I've become more of a fan of OEM Volvo 240 series sliders than the ones from seat manufacturers.  The ones I've gotten from Sparco in particular have been pretty sloppy/floppy.  The Volvo ones are double locking and can be found in DIY junkyards or Craigslist.

zakp73 wrote:

I’m 6’5”. I used a seat slider out of a 5th generation mustang 2005-2012(?). Mustang has a low roof so Ford gave it a compact slider, but it still has a manual ratcheting vertical adjustment. Works slick as snot.

Good to know re: those oem sliders, I'll keep my eyes out!

Also, do you all use rear attachment of any kind to the cage?

21 (edited by Lemon_Newton-Metre 2021-06-05 07:01 AM)

Re: Best adjustable seat setup for tall drivers?

shawn wrote:

Also, do you all use rear attachment of any kind to the cage?

See 3.F.1 in the rules as a starting point

The Lemons Store has:

"Pyrotect Adjustable Seatback Brace"

as an item for sale

Re: Best adjustable seat setup for tall drivers?

TheEngineer wrote:

Just going to add a different slider approach. I ordered a corbeau slider with my first seat from them and hated it. It was single side locking and didn't actually fit the car. We custom made something that was a pain to adjust but was at least double side locking. What we have now in the saab and the E36 (if that ever makes progress) is the OEM electric rails out of the a saab 9-5. I took the driver and passenger sides, combined them to use two motors instead of one, and kept the rod the links the two rails.

Tthe logic for this was that the electric sliders make adjusting easier in general. It also helps get the lap belts tighter. Adjust to almost far enough forward, pull on lap belts, scoot the seat forward to really suck them down and get into final position. The rails themselves are all worm gear, so they can't be back-driven, there's no risk of them moving and loosening belts in the car. And they're already crash tested and proven from the manufacturer.


Doesn't work in every car if you already have headroom issues, though the 9-5 rails are fairly low profile once you strip off the extra bits that do seat angle adjusting and recline. But it worked for us and I don't think I can go back to manual sliders. And yes tech has seen and signed off on this for years now. First race we pointed out that we even kept the OEM memory module for the seat so you could easily move it to the full back position without smashing into the harness bar and flexing the seat.

THIS.

When we built the Benz, we solidly bolted the seat to the floor. All teammates were within 1” of 6’ tall, it worked fine, until Erich started driving- he’s 5’7” if that... oh, the complaining. With this in mind, I built a power seat base using the OEM Benz parts, keeping the memory function and the door-mount switch. Combined with the power tilt/telescope column, its real easy to get comfortable. I don’t think much over 6’2” could meet the clearance rule, however.

The Passat received a similar setup, using the factory tracks and a power seat base from a fancier Passat W8. Also works great. Modern OEM seat bases are far from flimsy. The seat doesn’t wiggle at all on our setups...

#289 1984 Corvette Z51 (the road goes on forever…)
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Gone but not forgotten, #427-Hong Kong Cavaliers Benz S500: formerly known as OMG Racing #140
Other foolishness: Finisher of Hell on Wheels (Jaguar) IOE (Humber)

Re: Best adjustable seat setup for tall drivers?

mharrell wrote:
Mr.Yuck wrote:

? no your melon has to be 2" from the cage, not 1/4"  you are wrong.

DelinquentRacer and cheseroo have it right. The phrase "two inches inside the area enclosed by the cage" in the rules is... awkward, both in terms of the word "area" for what should probably be "volume" and the question of whether "enclosed" refers to the interior or exterior boundary of the cage. Figure 4 of the "How-To-Not-Fail" guide makes it clear, however, that it is the exterior boundary of the cage that matters for clearance purposes.

As cheseroo notes, however, a greater distance is an excellent idea.

must be different in the other "not-so-cheap anymore" league. Pretty sure they measured us from helmet to bar, not the top of it. In any event, get the cage as high as it will possibly go.

"get up and get your grandma outta here"

Re: Best adjustable seat setup for tall drivers?

shawn wrote:

Good to know re: those oem sliders, I'll keep my eyes out!

Also, do you all use rear attachment of any kind to the cage?

So you have now been given (on top of electric if low profile enough) a number of slider suggestions that are almost universally better than what the racing seat manufacturers.  FYI, we do have the electric OEM sliders in two cars and they are choice but not an option in many cars.

To review:

5th gen f-body passenger
Volvo 240
The Mustang 2005'ish
REAL Jeep Cherokees
No matter what you use, put them on a ramp
Install seat before cage

As far as "extra" bends to follow the roof line on the main hoop I have never seen this be an issue.  Mosly the main hoop you would just change the angle at the sides to shallower and the slightest bend a few inches in on each side.  Make sure your cage builder does have a copy of "How not to Fail Tech" as our cages are ever so slightly different than SCCA and a lot different than Rally (though a full FIA rally cage would pass, might be fun to pass the eggress test) or dirt track.

We have yet to need the adjustable back brace on any of our cars but if you do, make sure it has a LARGE bearing area on the seat as Pagel in particular is very picky on this.

Re: Best adjustable seat setup for tall drivers?

^ what he said about the builder. We took a copy of the rules with us. They guaranteed it would pass tech.

"get up and get your grandma outta here"